International Council for Traditional Music

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Call for Papers for 29th Symposium in Graz, 2016

29th Symposium


Hosted by

Institute of Ethnomusicology

University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (Kunstuniversität)

At Retzhof Castle, Graz, Austria

9-16 July, 2016

Arrival dates: 8-9 July (opening on 9 July evening opening ceremony)

Departure dates: 16 July (summary and closing before noon 16 July)

 (There will be an optional post-symposium excursion on 16-18 July)


Deadline for submissions: 10 October 2015

In accordance with the aims and objectives of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology this biennial symposium is dedicated to two selected themes, which form the focus of presentations and discussions.


1. Dance and the Senses

Dance employs emotion, creativity, cultural influence and symbolism to convey meaning through the proprioceptive senses that perceive the body's own position, motion, and balance while incorporating the five traditional external senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Sensorial orders are not only constructed based on cultural perceptions and (re)presentations, but are also based on social hierarchies and gender notions. However, the notion of senses also delves into the wonder of living with an ephemeral body in the here and now, and into the beyond. The individual’s body perceives, and may also be perceived in its continuous configuration and unfolding of its corporeal surroundings. Dance employs senses which create many interconnections and intertwinements, and which may pose many questions in dance studies such as the following:


What are the concepts, theories or perceptions of dance and the senses in ethnochoreology?  

How do different senses present dancing bodies within culturally specific perspectives?

How are corporeality and spatiality constituted in sensorial presentation?

How do somatic practices employ, explicate or manifest senses?

How can a sensory approach to dance and dancers contribute to a general theoretical understanding of the socio-cultural role of the senses?

What are the cultural variations in conceptualizing dance and the senses?

How do ethnochoreologists deal with “dance and the senses” in a digital age?


2. Dancing and Dance Cultures in Urban Contexts

Many dance forms, including singular dances and complex dance styles and cultures, that are practised internationally, are far removed from the people and places where they have been devised, developed or exercised over long periods of time. This topic does not look at issues of migration or diaspora. Instead, the focus is on dance cultures and dances that may have roots in a local community, but have developed and found their present shape outside of it, and are currently practised by a diverse, international discipleship in urban contexts. Such dances and dancing have been sprawling, or actively transferred to new locations and possibly new contexts, extending their reach in terms of supporters, practitioners, teachers, and performers. These dances may have a strongly cherished and sometimes entirely constructed connection to places and contexts of origin. In other cases, they may be perceived as an international, urban phenomenon with untraceable, unclear or even disputed origins.


Research questions focusing on such phenomena might include:

In which ways does a dance or dance culture spread and become an international phenomenon?

How does it transit from local to international practice?

How have local singular dances historically turned into internationally practised dances?

What is the role of media in these contexts?

How are current social media and internet portals responsible for the rapid spread of a particular dance?

How do dance styles change while transiting from local to urban?

Are the social strata of dance culture bearers changing along with the transfer? And if so, what might be the reasons for this change? Who is attracted to such dance cultures and why?

How do concepts like “cosmopolitanism,” “globalization,” “urbanization,” connect to this dance cultural phenomenon?

What connection, function or influence does music have on the dance or vice versa?

Has the music/dance relationship changed in the transition process?

In comparison, is it possible to find enough characteristics that are particular to a number of researched case studies to come to a general conclusion and a better understanding of this phenomenon?


Abstract Submission:

The Program Committee expects proposals to address issues that arise directly from the themes. All proposals should be based on substantial fieldwork, experience, and/or textual consideration. It is expected that individual papers and panels will present new insights framed within specific theoretical discourses.


Proposals for presentations that were previously given or have appeared in print, or in other formats, will be rejected.


English is the official language of the Symposium. Participants not familiar with English may present the paper in a language of large circulation (such as French, German, Russian, Italian, and Spanish). The presenter is asked to provide at the symposium a translation of the full paper in English for the sake of wider understanding. Proposal abstracts are to be submitted in English for selection purposes.


The Program Committee reserves the right to accept those proposals that, in their opinion, fit best into the scheme of the symposium, and that can be accommodated within the time frame of the symposium.

WHERE TO SEND PROPOSALS by Thursday, 10 October 2015.

Mohd Anis Md Nor (Chair of Program Committee)

Yolanda van Ede

Gediminas Karoblis

Rebeka Kunej

Mats Melin

The Program Committee will not consider proposals received after the deadline of 10 October 2015. Notification for acceptance or rejection will be announced by 31 December 2015. If you have a deadline for funding applications towards travel, accommodations, and so on, please notify the Program Committee of your deadline date when sending in your proposal.  


Only current members in good standing for 2016 will be allowed to present (see ICTM membership below).  Members not in good standing as of February, 2016 will/may be removed from the program. To become a member of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology please contact the Chair, Catherine Foley and the Secretary, Anne von Bibra Wharton.

Dr. Catherine Foley, The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland:

Anne von Bibra Wharton, Dance Department. St. Olaf College, 1520 St. Olaf Avenue, Northfield, MN. 55057, USA:

ICTM membership applications are available at the ICTM website For membership questions, contact the ICTM Secretariat or write to ICTM Secretariat, International Council for Traditional Music; Department of Musicology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana; Askerceva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.


You may present once only during the symposium. If members have any questions about the suitability of a proposal, please contact the Program Chair and ask for assistance. Colleagues are advised to bring alternative modes of presentation delivery if using PowerPoint, DVD, and so on, in case of unexpected technical failure on the day of presentation.

Individual presentations. The Program Committee will group presentations from individual members. Each presentation is allotted 20 minutes inclusive of all illustrations, audio-visual media or movement examples, plus 10 minutes for questions and discussion. There will be no deviation allowed from this time allotment. A 20-minute paper is normally around 5 pages of 12-point double-spaced type. Please submit a one-page abstract (about 300 words) outlining the content, argument and conclusion, its relation to the symposium theme you have chosen to address, plus a brief list/or statement of sources, if appropriate, on a second page. Please include the type of illustrations to be used in the presentation, such as PowerPoint, DVD, video (including format), and so on.

Media presentations. Media presentations should be no more than 20 minutes in duration. Your presentation should engage critically with the media (video, CD, DVD, and so on) and key material for viewing should be pre-selected. It is essential that your presentation address one of the two themes. Please submit a one-page abstract (about 300 words) outlining content, argument and conclusion, the relevance of the media presentation to the selected theme, plus a brief list of sources.

Panels. The Program Committee encourages presentations in the form of panels: sessions that are entirely planned, coordinated, and prepared by a group of people, one of whom is the responsible coordinator. Proposals may be submitted for panels consisting of three, four, or five presenters and the structure is at the discretion of the coordinator. The total length of a panel will be one hour including time for questions. The proposal should indicate the overall purpose, the role of the individual participants, and the commitment of all participants to attend the conference, including a short summary (one page) of the panel members, and an abstract for each individual paper, as described under Individual Papers above, to be sent together. Each panel proposal will be accepted or rejected as a whole.

You may submit a panel proposal on a topic of your choice, but priority may be given to those proposals that address one of the two symposium themes.

Roundtables. We also encourage presentations in the form of roundtables. These are sessions that are entirely planned, coordinated, and prepared by a group of people, one of whom is the responsible coordinator. The aim is to generate discussion between members of the roundtable each of whom presents questions, issues, and/or material for about 5 minutes on the pre-selected unifying theme of the roundtable. The following discussion, at the coordinator's discretion, may open into more general discussion with the audience. The total length of a roundtable will be one and a half hours inclusive of all discussion. Proposals may be submitted for a roundtable consisting of up to 10 presenters, and the structure is at the discretion of the convener who will chair the event. The proposal explains the overall purpose, the role of the individual participants, and signals the commitment of all participants to attend the symposium. Each roundtable proposal will be accepted or rejected as a whole. The choice of topic is open, but priority may be given to those proposals that address one of the two symposium themes.

Film/DVD/ presentation. At the discretion of the Program Committee, new films/DVDs of longer duration than those that can be accommodated in a media session, as described above, preferably related to the symposium themes, may be proposed for viewing. The Program Committee will inform delegates proposing such material of the possibilities of inclusion when drafting the program. Individuals desiring to do such a presentation should send a query to both Program and Local Arrangements Chairs.

Student presentations/current research. Welcomed are short presentations from students and new or old members whose subjects may or may not relate to the themes. These presentations may take the form of either (a) an 8-minute presentation inclusive of any illustrations, or (b) a poster. Please indicate clearly which mode of delivery you intend. For either category, please supply a brief statement of your subject, noting if it relates directly to either of the themes, a selected resource list, statement of methodology, and theoretical perspective. The whole should be no more than one page, although the list of resources may be additional.


The Program Committee reserves the right to change the program, and unless otherwise notified by 1 April, 2016, will expect all delegates to be present on the published dates of the symposium.


Program Committee: 

Mohd Anis Md Nor (Chair of Program Committee)

Yolanda van Ede

Gediminas Karoblis

Rebeka Kunej

Mats Melin

Local Organizing Committee:

Kendra Stepputat (Chair)

Christopher Dick

Florian Wimmer